How To Lodge A Tax Return When You’re Married

How To Lodge A Tax Return When You’re Married

If you’re planning to lodge an Australian tax return with your spouse in hopes to lodge jointly, think again.

The Australian tax return does not offer a joint filing status; instead, everyone lodges a tax return on their own.

Just because there’s not an option to lodge jointly with your spouse, you do have to report your spouse’s tax information when filling out your own tax return.

In fact, reporting your spouse’s information will help determine if you qualify for certain tax offsets. Thankfully, E-Lodge helps simplify this process.

Who does the ATO consider to be “a spouse”?

Most considered a spouse to be someone their legally married to. However, in the eyes of the ATO, a spouse falls into a larger category (de facto). According to the ATO, your spouse includes a person (of the same or opposite sex) who:

  • you were in a relationship with that was registered under a prescribed state or territory law

  • although not legally married to you, lived with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple

Your Spouse’s Information That You Need To Report on Your Tax Return:

If you’re married or married de facto during the tax year, you will need to report the following information when lodging your taxes including your spouse’s;

  • full name

  • date of birth

  • taxable income

  • reportable fringe benefits

  • reportable employer contributions to super

  • tax-free government pensions

  • target foreign income

  • net financial investment loss

  • net rental property loss

  • child support paid

You also should report if you made contributions to your spouse’s superannuation fund.

This spouse information entered will determine if you are;

  • eligible for the spouse tax offset

  • eligible for the net medical expenses tax offset

  • subject to the Medicare levy surcharge

Thanks to the E-Lodge application, if your spouse has an account with E-Lodge, you’ll simply enter your spouse’s tax file number and E-Lodge username. Once entered, their income details will automatically be entered.

From there, the E-Lodge system will calculate the amount of your spouse tax offset (if applicable) along with your net medical expense offset.

Ready to get started? Create an account and lodge today. Even though you’ll have to lodge a separate return from your spouse, the ease of the E-Lodge website will help make the process fly by.

It’s Easier With E-Lodge™

Photo via Gerogia Pauwels on Flikr

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19 Responses to “How To Lodge A Tax Return When You’re Married”

  1. Biplob das says:

    I am in 457 visa. Got merried this year last February. My wife already in Australia . I paid her visa application fees and agent fees.
    Am I entitled to claim this in my taxback?
    Plz let me know.
    Kind regards

  2. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Biplob das,

    Unfortunately, visa application fees are not eligible to claim as tax deductions for your spouse or yourself. You can only claim expenses that directly cause you to earn an income.

  3. Lauren says:


    I’m on student visa along with my husband as my dependent. Is it advisable to lodge our tax refund together?

  4. Tax Advisor says:

    Hello Lauren,

    If you’re married or married de facto during the tax year, you will need to report your spouse’s information when lodging your tax return.

  5. Deborah says:

    I get centrelink payments which are non-taxable so usually I don’t have to.lodge a tax return. This time round I have in top of centrelink payments received my share of rental income (50%). I have placed these amounts under my hubby’s tax return lodgement under spouse taxable income. Does it mean I have to lodge my own tax return for this rental income aswell or ok to just state it under his return as I already was asked to do so?

  6. Michael Oxenham says:

    What happens if I don’t know my spouses income until she has her return prepared next year ?
    Do I have to wait until then before I can lodge mine. We do not intend to claim any income tested offsets / credits?

  7. Shannon says:


    I married overseas and the visa application for my wife is still under process. Since she has not yet received her visa, do I need to mention her details while filing for my tax returns?

  8. ganesh says:


    If me and my wife has both own 2 homes rented, if we are out of country how do we file tax returns?

    is there any rental income tax retrun form/type??

    if both are in australia, where do we show the expenses of these investment properties? on whos tax retruns?

  9. Tax Advisor says:

    Hello Deborah,

    Thank you for reaching out to us. If you are issued specific payments such as rental income, you will need to lodge your own individual tax return and list it under your income, not your spouse’s taxable income.

  10. Tax Advisor says:

    You should only file your returns after you have received your group certificates for the financial year. If you are filing for this current financial year, then your income statements should be available to you in order for you to file.

  11. Tax Advisor says:

    Hello Ganesh,
    Feel free to lodge a joint tax return using our website. Make an account to report your rental income and expenses on the website or download our App to lodge on your phone or tablet.

  12. Tax Advisor says:

    Hello Shannon,

    You are required to fill in your spouse’s information on your return, regardless of her status.

  13. Vivek says:

    I am in 457 visa.and Non-resident for tax purpose. My wife has never visited Australia. She is tax resident of different country and filing her tax in her own country. Do I need to fill in my spouse’s foreign earning information on my return,

  14. Tax Advisor says:

    On your return, you will be providing your spouse’s foreign income information in field C. This would be considered non-taxable income in Australia, as this income was earned outside of the country, as well as your spouse being a tax resident of a different country. You can view the information from the ATO’s website for a guideline on how to go about this reporting.

  15. Vivek says:

    Can you please advise whether I will be considered a resident of Australia for taxation purposes for tax year 1-July 2016 to 30 June 2017 and How is it defined ?

    Following are the details for your reference-

    1- Visa Category-:- 457 Long Term WP
    2- Arriving in Australia : – Feb 2017
    3- Visa Validity:- Till Feb- 2021
    4- Work Location since arrival– Sydney
    5- Accommodation Type :- Rented
    6- Intend to Stay : Till Feb 2018 or longer

  16. Rhl says:

    Dear Sir,


    I am an Indian passport holder and currently working in Korea.

    I have recently acquired Australian Permanent Residency visa.

    I am planning to visit Australia first time to validate my visa. I have a wife and a daughter.

    we will be visiting Australia for a month and I will return to Korea for employment purpose while my wife and daughter will stay in Australia as a permanent resident. My wife may work in Australia and my daughter will attend kindergarten with a fee including government assistance.

    Now my question is, will I have to pay tax on my foreign income to Australia? as I will be visiting only Australia for a month and I will stay overseas for at least a year and then I will move to Australia Permanently.

    Please help me.


  17. Tax Advisor says:

    Please refer to the ATO’s website for information about whether your Foreign income will be taxed.

  18. chan says:


    I came to AU from other countries by partner visa. I am now unemployed and without any income. Do my partner need to lodge the tax return adding my information?

    We want to have some investment. I heard that the tax can not be calculated jointly but separately. Accordingly, is it better to use my own name for enjoying the tax return rather than joint name/ her name?

    Thank you very much!

  19. Rachel says:

    I am ready to do my tax but my husband who works for himself has not done his yet and I don’t know when he will . Can I estimate his income? If his taxable income is say at or below 80000 and mine is only 18000 will it effect anything anyway ? I don’t want to wait for him to get himself sorted to do my tax because I need my return and I’ve all but completed it except his income !

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